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Sakhanka village in DPR comes under intensive fire from Ukrainian army — agency

May 04, 2015, 5:24 UTC+3 MOSCOW
"A residential building in the northern part of the village has been nearly ruined", the agency quoted local administration head Alexander Pelipa
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© TASS/Valeriy Sharifulin

MOSCOW, May 4. /TASS/. Ukrainian military are intensively shelling the village of Sakhanka in the Novoazovsk Region of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), the Donetsk News Agency reported.

"The Ukrainian army is currently shelling Sakhanka. As a result of shelling, a residential building in the northern part of the village has been nearly ruined. The house owner narrowly escaped death," the agency quoted local administration head Alexander Pelipa as saying.

Earlier, DPR Defense Ministry spokesman Eduard Basurin said that on May 3, Ukraine’s armed forces violated the ceasefire regime 57 times. "The situation in the Donetsk People’s Republic is complicated. Intensity of fire on the part of the Ukrainian army has increased," he said.

According to Basurin, Ukraine uses heavy armaments that were to have been pulled back from the contact line under the Minsk agreements.

"The Ukrainian army keeps conducting provocations, using BM-21 Grad MLRS, heavy artillery, tanks, mortars, antitank guided missiles, grenade launchers and small arms," he said.

According to a 2001 census, Sakhanka had a population of 1,093.

On February 12, participants of the Contact Group on settlement of the situation in Donbass signed in Minsk a document earlier agreed with leaders of the Normandy Four (Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine), which envisioned cessation of fire, withdrawal of heavy armaments from the contact line as well as political settlement measures, including establishment of working subgroups as priority tasks.

The subgroups will focus on four areas: economic issues and restoration of facilities; refugees, internally displaced persons and humanitarian assistance; political issues; security issues.

Clashes between Ukrainian troops and local militias during Kiev’s military operation, conducted since mid-April 2014, to regain control over the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Luhansk People's republics and constitute parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, have left thousands dead and forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee Ukraine’s embattled east.

The parties to the Ukrainian conflict mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) agreed on a ceasefire at talks in September 2014 in the Belarusian capital Minsk two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed his plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine.

The ceasefire has reportedly been numerously violated since. There have been several meetings of the Trilateral Contact Group on east Ukrainian settlement comprising representatives of Russia, Ukraine and the OSCE and of the Normandy Four aimed at finding ways to diplomatically and politically settle the intra-Ukrainian conflict.

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